Censors have approved the entry of a controversial Chinese film into the Berlin Film Festival after five revisions, the producer said on Wednesday.
"The process was not smooth," producer Fang Li (方勵) said of the approval of Lost in Beijing (蘋果).
"We revised the film five times and finally got approval for the Berlin International Film Festival," Fang said.
Director Li Yu's (李玉) film is set against the backdrop of the thousands of peasants that stream into Beijing in search of work.
It tells the story of a relationship between a Beijing massage parlor boss, played by Hong Kong star Tony Leung (梁朝偉), and a worker, played by mainland Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (范冰冰).
Li and Fang cut several scenes that the censors apparently thought would show overly negative aspects of China, as well as scenes in Beijing's sensitive Tiananmen Square, the site of a 1989 military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
"We cut all the scenes of Tiananmen Square, the national flag, and we also cut scenes of dirty streets," Fang said.
An official from the National Administration of Radio, Film and Television said news that Lost in Beijing was approved to compete in Berlin was "basically right."
Last year, China banned director Lou Ye (婁燁) from making movies for five years after he submitted Summer Palace (頤和園) to the Cannes Film Festival without official approval.
A tragic screen portrait of Edith Piaf kicked off the festival on Thursday, a fitting opening to a competition where women, many of them in trouble, play a central role.
Alongside them in the main competition lineup of 26 films comes the theme of war, with Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima, Israeli production Beaufort and The Counterfeiters, about a Nazi plan to ruin Britain's economy.
Asia and Latin America feature strongly in a typically international selection of films, and Berlin hopes to garnish its reputation for hard hitting world cinema with a sprinkling of Hollywood stars on the red carpet.
Dieter Kosslick, the festival's director, hopes that La Vie En Rose, starring Marion Cotillard as Piaf from the age of 20 until her death at 47, will solve the problem of opening films that have tended to be critical flops.
Singer of classic ballads like La vie en rose and Non, je ne regrette rien, Piaf rose from poverty to superstardom, but the path was strewn with tragedy, including the death in a plane crash of her lover.
Also in competition is Yella, by German director Christian Petzold, about a young woman from ex-communist east Germany whose old life continues to haunt her as she seeks work in the western part of the country to escape a wretched marriage.
Also in competition is I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK, a South Korean entry featuring pop star Rain in his movie debut.
Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski is to film best-selling British author Robert Harris' novel Pompeii.
"Roman said he liked the book, we met in Paris and the deal was done," Harris told the Sunday Times. "It happened very quickly. I'm back in Paris this week to start sketching it out and the filming will start in the summer."
The novel Pompeii tells the story of the Roman city's final days in 79AD before Mount Vesuvius erupted, causing the deaths of thousands of people.
"Since Ridley Scott's Gladiator, there has also been more general interest in the Roman era," Harris said.
In 2001 one of Harris' novels Enigma was made into a film of the same name and featured Titanic star Kate Winslet.
The 73-year-old Polanski won an Oscar in 2003 for directing the Holocaust drama The Pianist.
He has been unable to make films in Hollywood since skipping the US after a 1977 conviction for statutory rape.
The Sunday Times said the film would cost £100 million — reportedly the most expensive film ever made in Europe.
Oscar-nominated Spanish actress Penelope Cruz is to star in the new Woody Allen film, to be shot this summer in Barcelona, a representative of the film's production company said on Friday.
"They (Allen and Cruz) met in New York a couple of months ago and the news has got out," Jaume Roures of production company Mediapro told state radio. "If anyone needed a confirmation, this is it."
African-American entertainer Dooley appeared on local television show Super Entourage (小明星大跟班) a few weeks ago and was told by the crew that they wanted to do a skit in blackface. Dooley, whose real name is Matthew Candler, tells the Taipei Times that Super Entourage wanted to perform a rendition of the wildly popular “Ghana Coffin Dance,” a meme that has taken the world by storm. Instead, he showed them videos about the racist origins of blackface and slavery in America, and they agreed to drop the makeup. “[I told them] about the history [behind blackface] and [said] you decide
June 1 to June 7 In February 1988, Robert Wu (吳清友) set aside NT$17.5 million to purchase two Henry Moore sculptures from London’s Marlborough Gallery. He never bought the pieces. Feeling slighted that the gallery manager initially looked down on him as a Taiwanese, he decided that night to use the money to open his own art space back home. “Without selling any art, that money could support the gallery for four years. If I feature one artist per month, that provides a stage for at least 100 artists,” Wu said in the book Eslite Time (誠品時光) by Lin Ching-yi (林靜宜).
With listicles of local attractions including Costco and numerous children’s playgrounds, I was not expecting much. Opened on Jan. 31, the Taipei MRT’s Circular Line, or Yellow Line, made life in the nation’s capital even more convenient. But judging from Internet search results, it hasn’t opened up many new tourism opportunities, unsurprising as the route mostly crosses densely populated areas and industrial parks. Places like a sports stadium with rainbow colored bleachers perfect for Instagram selfies wouldn’t do it for me either, and it’s pointless to list attractions at the connecting stops that have existed for years. As a history nerd, there
Captain Wynn Gale — a fifth-generation Georgia shrimper — is on the side of the road on an April morning, selling shrimp at the same street corner where his dad sold shrimp. “How’s the pandemic treating you?” I ask. “Sales have dropped off by about two-thirds. No out-of-towners coming through on the I-95. No local traffic.” He sighs. “I’m going to tough it out. I can survive with what I’m selling. But that’s all I’m doing. Most shrimpers don’t have 401k retirement plans, you know?” Gale would rather be out on his boat, a 1953 trawler he had for nine years but recently